Pizzette Montanare, also known as pizza fritta (fried pizza), are a delicious street food from Naples. Easy to make, these versatile and tasty pizzas are the ideal food for parties and informal dinners. They can be also proposed as an entree.
About this Recipe
By: Silvana Lanzetta
Pizza is, without a doubt, the most famous Italian food in the world.
Although flatbread topped with various ingredients can be found all over the world, it is in Naples that the pizza has been elevated to the internationally loved dish we know today. It’s hard to recreate the thin, soft and slightly charred dough that makes the pizza so recognizable: you will need a wood-fired oven and a lot of skill.
For the dough:
- 600 ml lukewarm water
- 6 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 2 tsp sugar
- 1 or 2 tsp salt, according to taste
- 25 g fresh yeast (if using dried, refer to instructions on the packet)
- 1 kg plain flour, plus some extra
- Vegetable oil to fry
For the topping:
- 125 g mozzarella, finely chopped
- 100 g grated parmesan
- 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 3 garlic cloves, chopped
- 400 g chopped tomatoes
- Small bunch of basil leaves
- Salt and pepper, to taste
But Neapolitans are inventive people, and together with the classic pizzas, they have created all sort of fried pizzas. Filled or flat, these pizzas are the ultimate comfort food, and can be found all over Naples in the “fast food” section of the pizzerias.
The recipe I propose this week is how to make mini fried pizzas or pizzette montanare, which are very commonly prepared at home and especially as party food. They are relatively easy and quick to prepare, and super tasty.
Pizzette Montanare is a kids’ favourite!
My kids love fried pizza. If it were for them, they would eat pizzette montanare every day. I make them once a month as a special treat,and when I do, the kids behave like it’s Christmas!
I make a dinner plate sized pizza per person when I make it as a main course, and about 10 cm diameter when I make it as a party food.
In this recipe I use parmesan and mozzarella, but often I don’t used mozzarella, just grated parmesan, or even grated pecorino for the extra flavour (I love pecorino Romano!). The important thing to remember is that you need to get the sauce right: all the flavour is down to the tomato sauce.
Which tomatoes are best for pizzette Montanare?
In case you tinned tomatoes are too acidic, stir in a pinch of bicarbonate once you take it off the heat.
Best canned tomatoes to use: San Marzano Pelati D.O.P. You will need to finely chop the tomatoes with a wooden spatula as they cook.
Pizzette Montanare are a delicious treat, but highly caloric: 100 gr is 291 Kcal. If you avoid the mozzarella, the calories count goes down to 200 per 100 gr. A normal portion is 250gr.
- Proteins 11% 11%
- Carbs 44% 44%
- Fats 45% 45%
Step by Step Instructions
Make pizzette montanare
Pour the flour on a wooden table or in a large container and form a well. In a small bowl, crumble the fresh yeast, add 2 tsp of sugar and half a glass of lukewarm water. Mix it well until everything is dissolved, wait ten minutes and pour it in the middle of the well.
In another half glass of water, dissolve the salt and pour it on the flour together with the oil. With one hand, start mixing the flour and the water, adding more water until all the flour has been absorbed.
Keep the flour and the rest of the lukewarm water next to you and add them gradually to the dough as needed, until the dough becomes smooth, elastic and won’t stick to the fingers anymore.
Keep kneading vigorously until the dough becomes firm: the dough is ready when it ‘bounces back’ after poking it with a finger. It usually requires around 15-20 minutes of vigorous kneading. Once ready, form a ball with the dough and put it in a large bowl, covering it with a clean tea towel, and let it rest in a warm place for about one hour: it needs to double its volume.
To prepare the tomato sauce, on a low heat, warm 2 tbsp of oil, then add the garlic. When the garlic starts to become golden, add the chopped tomatoes, the salt and the pepper. Let it cook for about 20 minutes on a medium heat. Cover and keep the sauce bubbling on a very low heat.
Take the raised dough from the bowl, put it on a table and “punch” it back, and knead for another five minutes. Divide the dough into small balls, about the size of a golf ball, put them on a tray, and cover them with the tea towel. Let them rest for another ten minutes.
In a large pan, heat abundant vegetable oil on high heat. Take the dough balls and flatten them up into circular shapes. Once the oil is very hot, fry the pizzas for a few minutes, flipping to cook both sides. Place them on a tray lined with paper towels, to absorb the excess oil.
As you take them from the pan, spread about a spoonful of hot tomato sauce on each of them, sprinkle with a little chopped mozzarella and some torn basil leaves, and then dust with the grated parmesan. Wait a few minutes for the mozzarella to melt.
Serve the pizzette Montanare warm, accompanied by a cold beer.